Raise 'Em Right

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“Raising a Reader”  

My four year old son is showing an interest in learning how to read. What are some simple steps I can take to help him along?

Read, read, read. Read to him constantly and model reading by having newspapers, magazines, and books in your home. Visit the preschool section of your library and let him check out ten books each week that he has chosen. (If your library allows, have him sign up for his own library card and use it.)

Set aside time daily for reading aloud. Reading to him as part of the bedtime routine is a great idea. Not only because it becomes a habit, but since it will help calm him down before he goes to sleep.

When reading aloud to him, let him turn the pages. At times let your fingers follow under the words so he sees that your eyes are going from left to right on the page.

You needn’t do this excessively; a few pages here and there will make the point. This will also help your son keep his eyes focused on words you are reading and connects the written word to the spoken word in your child’s mind.

Studies have shown repeatedly that what makes children into readers is being read to- so read, read, read.

Recently, I started working as an assistant in an infant/toddler child care center after school. This is my first real job (I’m 16) and I love it, the babies are so much fun! I want to do my best, but I feel like I have no clue about what babies are supposed to be able to do. I mean stuff like sit up, roll over, that kind of thing.

Congratulations on your job and willingness to learn how to do it better. Ask your director if there is a simple chart on hand showing the normal development of infants and toddlers.

You will learn as you work with the children and observe them on a day to day basis, but it is good to have a general idea of what to expect when.

Keep in mind though when you do see charts of development, that a chart is only a guideline. Each child grows at his/her own rate.

The following is a very basic outline to help you start. Age two months- a child can lift head and chest while lying on stomach. Age four months- a child can sit erect in the arms of an adult and can reach for objects.

Age six months- a child can grasp objects and roll over. Age eight months- a child can pull his/her self up and thrusts arms and legs out and squirms to push body forward.

Age ten months- a child can crawl on hands and knees and walk with the help of an adult. Age twelve months - a child can stand, sometimes is able to walk alone, can pick up small objects and begins to self-feed.

I constantly repeat myself when talking to my five year old. This even occurs when giving him simple directions, such as telling him it’s time to put on his jacket. What’s the best way to get and keep his attention for simple daily tasks?

First, make it a habit to refer to him by name at the start. For example, instead of saying, “Put on your jacket” always begin with “Jason” and then state the behavior you expect. Secondly, break the tendency to call to him from a distance, such as from across the room.

Instead, go up to him, get down to his eye level and speak directly to him. Teachers do these two steps relentlessly and it really does help.  

Please send questions to RAISE ‘EM RIGHT™, P. O. Box 831, Carlisle, MA 01741 or ask online at www.RAISEEMRIGHT@aol.com you can e-mail Barbara Peary at raisemright@aol.com


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The February, 2006 Edition of the Valley Patriot
The Valley Patriot is a Monthly Publication.
All Contents (C) 2006
, Valley Patriot, Inc.
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